by Morinville News Staff
Alberta’s police, sheriffs and peace officers will be looking for motorists not wearing seatbelts this month as part of the province’s monthly traffic safety focus. February’s focus was on distracted driving. April’s focus will be on speeding.
The Government of Alberta says nearly 200,000 Albertans put their lives at risk every day when they travel by not buckling up. That number represents government statistics that show 5 per cent of Albertans do not use seatbelts on a regular basis.
“While we have come a long way in getting Albertans to buckle up, the number of people who do not use seat belts regularly is still too high,” said Minister of Transportation Brian Mason in a news release. “For everyone’s safety, please buckle up and make sure your children are in the proper safety seat before you shift into drive.”
Supt. Gary Graham, officer in charge, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services says seatbelts and child safety seats are proven, simple and effective devices that can drivers and passengers in a collision.
“By buckling up, you improve your chances of minimizing injuries or surviving a serious crash by 50 per cent, so make sure to buckle up, no matter how short the ride,” Graham said.
There were 53 deaths and 375 injuries to people not properly restrained at the time of their collision in 2016. Collisions involving restraint users had a much lower injury rate (6.8 per cent) than those not using restraints (24 per cent).
Drivers are responsible for ensuring that passengers under the age of 16 are properly secured using a child safety seat or seatbelt. Drivers may be fined $155 for each unrestrained passenger under 16.
The province has developed online child safety seat training that helps caregivers and professionals who work with children learn how to properly select, install and use child safety seats.